Gay Actor Fined, Banned from Playing Jesus in Easter Parade Because He Is Gay
Amid the pastel colors, ribbons and pageantry of an Easter parade, one parade organization has a problem: Jesus is a tad too gay.
Actor Ramón Fassoti, who has played Jesus for the past three decades in the Easter day parade in Valencia, Spain is banned from playing Jesus again until 2019, the Times reports.
The reason, Fassoti asserts, is because he is gay.
"It could be jealousy. Or maybe it was punishment for being gay. But everyone where I live knows my sexual orientation and it is not an issue," Fassoti told the Times.
When Fassoti appeared in the 2015 Easter parade, he wore a gown that exposed his shoulder and waved to onlookers. After accusing Fassoti of "ostentation and parody," the Junta Mayor de la Semana Santa Marinera slapped Fassoti with a hefty fine of 300 euros — about $335. Though the organization later knocked the fine down to about $67, the ban remains.
Fassoti claims he found influence for his over-the-shoulder number from actual paintings of Jesus — who is frequently depicted in various kinds of robes, but has a penchant for nearly naked depictions as well.
This is not an isolated incident, either. ABC España reports that in previous years, the Junta fined an actress who played Pontius Pilate's wife 300 euros for wearing a skirt they deemed too short.
Additionally, ABC España reports that Fassoti's ban comes after Bishop Casimiro Lopez issued a decree saying that members of the parade must live a good moral life in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church.
However, Fassoti remains distraught by the ban. He told the Times, "I am deeply religious and this is the worst thing that could happen."